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How to make a long-distance relationship last while at uni

Long-distance isn’t as scary as it seems.

“Long-distance” sounds scary but it isn’t all as bad as it seems. I think it is a myth that these relationships are “doomed” or “pointless”. My boyfriend of eight months lives and works back home, which is about a two and a half hour train journey, or about three hours drive.

At the end of the day, every couple is different so I cannot give you a set of rules or guidelines for making the perfect long-distance relationship. What works for some people won’t work for others. Therefore, I consulted my housemate, whose boyfriend of 2 and a half years goes to Lancaster University.

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My housemate and I both agreed that texting frequently and calling at least once a day is very important . She mentioned that she often uses FaceTime which is something my boyfriend and I don't really do, but it's definitely an option. Travel-wise, both our partners tend to travel more to us due to freer timetables allowing them to spend more time with us. However, I try to make the effort to travel home at least once a month to ensure that the effort put into the relationship is balanced.

When we had a conversation about long-distance relationships, my housemate, my boyfriend, and I agreed that whilst it can be hard to balance long-distance relationships with work, family, and friends, it is far from impossible. Your family and friends should understand your situation and be happy for you. Sacrifices will always have to be made but you should try not to view them as chores. You should want to devote time to your partner and enjoy the time you do.

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I think the thing about long-distance is, as clichéd as it sounds: it’s all about compromise. This does not mean giving up things which are important to you. Your life should still feel like your own. If the relationship feels unbalanced it would be hugely beneficial to address this in a conversation. Sometimes you might have to sacrifice a night out, a pub trip, a movie-night so that you can spend some time with your partner. It’s about dedicating time to the relationship, even when it seems problematic.

My top tips would be:

1) With regards to travelling, if you can avoid one person always travelling that would help towards creating an equal effort on both sides of the relationship.

2) Keeping busy when you are apart is also important. I would suggest if you have a set uni schedule every day, try and do things in and around it to keep you occupied.

3) You shouldn't let the distance get you down. Switch any negative thoughts or feelings you have to positive ones, for example if you are missing your partner, realise that it will only be more exciting the next time you see them. Instead of noticing the distance between you, think about what you will do when you are together.

4) Nevertheless, it is important to not neglect any issues lying under the surface. If there is anything that is bothering you or your partner, you should ensure it is brought up as soon as possible to avoid it bubbling away under the surface and causing more and more tension. When face to face communication is rarer, it can be hard to convey when you are upset about something . Discussing problems over the phone, rather than texting is vital because tone of voice can often be confused.

Overall, the most important thing is that you care about one another. A lot. It may sound stupid, but if you don’t want your relationship to work, it won’t. Communication and compromise are key but a combination of dedication and love is the golden ticket.